BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Jane Seymour’s career should have been slowing down over the past couple of years. The simple fact there was a pandemic and so many productions were halted left a lot of actors looking for work. Seymour has also reached an age – 71 – where most people are looking for an easier life.
Seymour has gone in the opposite direction. She joined this season of the CBS comedy “B Positive” playing a retirement home resident with a very active sex life. This came in the wake of appearing in the Netflix comedy “The Kominsky Method.”
Now she is starring in the new Acorn TV original murder mystery series “Harry Wild” that debuts April 4 on the streaming service. Seymour stars as Harriet “Harry” Wild, a retiring university literature professor who is finding herself at one of life’s crossroads.
Jolted from a mugging, she reluctantly agrees to recover in the home of her son, Charlie (Kevin Ryan), a senior police detective. Harry starts to interfere in a particularly bafﬂing murder case Charlie is investigating when she notices the murder shares striking similarities to an obscure Elizabethan play.
When her path crosses that of her mugger, Fergus Reid (Rohan Nedd), Harry sees great potential in the troubled teen and, instead of turning him in, enlists him as her sidekick. Following her successful, albeit ill-advised, involvement in the case, Harry discovers a new lust for life. She and Fergus quickly find new mysteries that need to be solved.
Being so active at her age and during a pandemic is a little baffling to Seymour.
“Usually actresses 70-plus don’t work this much, and I’ve been given the most amazing material, and managed not to get COVID. Obviously fully vaccinated and somewhat healthy, I think,” Seymour says. “But I was filming in Australia and Ireland. Everyone’s been really very careful, especially Warner Bros. on ‘B Positive.’
“I’m just very grateful to have been working during this time and particularly grateful for having material like ‘Harry Wild,’ which is very much written for me.”
Part of Seymour’s excitement comes from being a fan of mystery novels all her life. She grew up reading Agatha Christie books, always trying to figure out the mystery before reaching the final chapter.
She is convinced “Harry Wild” is a continuation of the legacy of great mystery tales coming from England. Her series was written by two of the United Kingdom’s best known writers in Dave Logan and Jo Spain.
“It was all there on the page. It’s hilarious. But it’s also very bright. Of course, I’m playing an English professor, so I spend the whole time correcting everyone’s grammar, deciphering terrible murders from my knowledge of English literature and history and the rest of it,” Seymour says. “And Rohan, who plays my sidekick, who quit school and doesn’t want to learn anything, I’m getting him through his schoolwork while he’s teaching me how to be street smart, which clearly I’m not.
“Harry has book smarts but she’s not street smart, and vice versa. But, also, she gets to understand from Rohan’s character what life is like when you have nothing and you live on the wrong side of town and everyone in your family is a crook or why are they, and how did that happen.”
Seymour likes that “Harry Wild” doesn’t revolve around a romantic relationship. She thinks the work connection she has with her mugger assistant is far more interesting because they both have very separate and interesting lives.
The relationship their characters have on screen was matched when the cameras were not rolling. Seymour smashed her kneecap at the beginning of the filming of the series and had to use crutches. Nedd offered a lot of support during that time.
“Since I was supposed to be running around and doing all kinds of stuff, I mean we bonded big time. And we spent every waking minute we could together, and we had a great time, and he taught me so much. He’s an amazing actor,” Seymour says. “When they showed me who could be my sidekick on this, there was no question of anyone else. I went, ‘That guy,’ Rohan, and unbeknownst to me, he’s a perfectly wonderfully British spoken person who never broke out of his Irish accent.
“Not till the day we finished and every single person on the crew was utterly convinced he was Irish but they were convinced they knew where he went to school and what street number he was from.”
The injury was one of the few negatives of the series for Seymour. One of the best things about playing the character of Harry Wild is that her character goes undercover quite a lot. Sometimes she’s Irish, sometimes she’s Scottish and sometimes she’s a harmless little old lady. It is like the life Seymour is living as a very busy actor.
Two new episodes of the eight-episode series will follow weekly every Monday through April 25.